Recognize Suffering in Others

Where Does It Hurt? The Practice: Recognize suffering in others. Why? We’re usually aware of our own suffering, which – broadly defined – includes the whole range of physical and mental discomfort, from mild headache or anxiety to the agony of bone cancer or the anguish of losing a child. (Certainly, there is more to [...] [Read more...]

Transform Ill Will

Do you bear a grudge? The Practice: Transform Ill Will. Why? Goodwill and ill will are about intention: the will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and-especially-thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots at you in her mind? What does [...] [Read more...]

The Evolution of Compassion: From Gene to Meme

Session Highlights:

• An in-depth conversation with Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life
• The ways we are sociable primates
• The universals of compassion across cultures [Read more...]

Cultivate Goodwill

Do people ever make you mad? The Practice: Cultivate goodwill. Why? As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care, and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination to be fearfully aggressive toward any [...] [Read more...]

Cultivating a Forgiving Heart

Session Highlights:

• An in-depth conversation with Dr. Tara Brach, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha
• Practices for strengthening and expressing compassion and kindness
• Dealing with hard issues in relationships [Read more...]

Come to Center

To what is your mind given? The Practice: Come to center. Why? I’m old enough to remember a time when people usually answered “good” when you asked them the standard, “How are you?” (often said “harya?”). These days the answer is commonly “busy.” In the last few months I’ve been very busy myself and starting [...] [Read more...]

Make Good Bargains

Is it worth it? The Practice: Make good bargains. Why? Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs. Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run – getting out in fresh air, improving health, etc. – are, for me at least, worth the costs of losing [...] [Read more...]

Mindfulness of Oneself and Others

Session Highlights:

• An in-depth conversation with Dr. Daniel Siegel, executive director of the Mindsight Institute and author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
• The link between empathy for yourself and empathy for others
• Compassion in family life
• Compassion in clinical practice [Read more...]

Be Helpful

What can I do? The Practice: Be helpful. Why? I’m doing a series on my personal top five practices (all tied for first place), and have so far named three: meditate (including mindfulness, self-awareness, and, if you like, prayer), take in the good, and bless (including compassion, generosity, and love). I saw one way to [...] [Read more...]


Wishing well? The Practice: Bless. Why? Lately, I’ve been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). You might ask yourself the same question, knowing that you can cluster related practices under a single umbrella, your list may differ from mine, and your practices may change [...] [Read more...]